Education Foundation benefits Pitt-Bradford

 

            In the early years of Pitt-Bradford, students relied on family, work and private scholarships to pay for their tuition and fees.

            To make a college education more affordable, Pitt-Bradford began to build an endowment to enable it to provide scholarships to its students.

            During the 1978-79 academic year, the University of Pittsburgh first considered closing its campus in Titusville as one of many ways to deal with its financial challenges. While there was no talk of closing Pitt-Bradford, which had just begun granting four-year degrees, the ever-vigilant members of the AdvisoryBoard at Pitt-Bradford began to plan.

            Fearful that its endowment would go to Pittsburgh if the University of Pittsburgh were to close the Bradford campus, the Board members formed the Bradford EducationalFoundation in 1981.

            With initial seed money from the Marian C. Kennedy Trust Fund, the BEF quickly built up more than $781,000 in assets. In the ensuing years, distributions from the Foundation to Pitt-Bradford were used primarily for scholarships, although facility improvement projects and academic programs also received support.

            Sam W. Gregg, an Advisory Board member, retired Witco-Kendall executive and strong supporter of Pitt-Bradford, became the first president of BEF. Advisory Board member Thomas Bromeley followed Sam Gregg as president and continues to serve in that capacity.

            In 2011-12, the most recent year for which statistics are available, Pitt-Bradford students received $458,235 in donor scholarships. From 2008-12, $2.2 million in scholarships was distributed. One of those scholarship recipients was Susan Niegowski, a nontraditional student who received her Associate of Science in Nursing in 2008 and Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2009.

            As part of a Pitt-Bradford tradition, Niegowski was able to meet the donor of her scholarship. “There are no words to tell you what a pleasure it was to be able to personally thank those individuals who helped my education possible,” she said.

            Niegowski now works as a registered nurse at Bradford Regional Medical Center and plans to return to Pitt-Bradford to pursue a master’s degree in nursing.

            For more information on the Bradford Educational Foundation, contact Jill Ballard, executive director, at jballard@pitt.edu or (814)362-5091.